Dutch sprinter Mariano sentenced for smuggling cocaine

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 06, 2013 07:10 hrs

The Hague, Feb 6 (IANS) Dutch sprinter Brian Mariano was sentenced to 12-month imprisonment, of which six months conditionally, on charges of possession of 720 grams of cocaine in his luggage at the airport of Curacao.

Mariano was sentenced in absentia and a probationary period of three years was added to the judgment, reports Xinhua.

He was arrested in the beginning of December when he wanted to travel from Curacao to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. He claims that he did not put the drugs in his suitcase by himself.

Prison sentences of less than one year are not necessarily implemented immediately in Curacao, due to a big shortage of cells on the island, part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The athlete will be convicted and may later get a call from the prosecutor, but similar cases showed that this could take a while. Therefore it is not certain he will ever go to jail and he can even resume training.

Mariano was part of the Dutch relay team, which last year won the European title in the 4x100 meters in Helsinki and finished sixth in the final of the London Olympic Games.

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